The literature

The most recent analysis of all the literature is covered in the opening chapter of the project report.

The scarce references have been analysed to identify features that can be related to the ground or other events. The results are inconclusive. There are no eye witness accounts and many statements lack the precision to uniquely identify the area. However, no reference is inconsistent with the suggested location

The only firm conclusion is that there was a battle on Wednesday 20th Sept 1066 along a ditch to the south of York. There are 4 references to the battle, but not by name, in the AS Chronicle. The background to the various Chronicles is explored.

Heimskringla or Saga’s of the Nordic Kings, was written in Old Norse, about 1225 by the poet and historian Snorri Sturluson. This provides a rare narrative of the battle. Recent scholarship allows the text to be reassessed. The Orkney Saga provides a tragic footnote.  

Florence of Worcester also includes a mention of the battle.

The place name of Fulford and Germany Beck indicates that the location can be closely linked to this area.

You can read a description of a contemporary battle in the Song of Maldon

The only academic article by Guy Schofield (History Today Oct 66) looks at the likely numbers involved. Based on the face off between the Mercian and Northumbrian Earls and the Godwinson's from Wessex a few years before, in which the former forced the latter to back down, he concludes that the northern army was substantial. The decision of Harold to rush north to oppose the Viking force might also indicate that the invading army was huge and this is supported by the literature on the size of the fleet.

Finding Fulford by Chas Jones looks at some of the issues raised by the landscape and the literature.

The succession issue for the Anglo-Saxon kingdom.